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Were conciliatory tones just for the occasion - or are we still gearing up for a fight over human rights?

Your Expert Witness blog logoThe legal world has been buzzing with the same subject over the last month as pretty well every other sector of professional life - that election result.

The Law Society had set out its own manifesto, detailing the changes it saw as being essential to the principal of access to justice. Like most of us, the society expected to be dealing with a new government that would include at least two parties - or if not, a minority government that would be vulnerable to third party pressure.

What it got was Michael Gove. It is widely expected that he has been brought in, along with his pugnacious style, to steer through the abolition of the Human Rights Act and its replacement with a 'British Bill of Rights' that would not be beholden to Europe.

That course of action is opposed tooth and nail by the Law Society, which is gearing up for a fight.

At his installation as Lord Chancellor, however, both Mr Gove and the Law Society vice-president sounded uncharacteristically conciliatory. It remains to be seen whether the warmer tones were employed for the pomp of the occasion.

• One issue that has carried over from the last government is that of leasehold extension, the Right to Manage and freehold 'emancipation'. Former Communities Secretary Eric Pickles took an active interest in the issue.

He was also responsible for 'Florrie's Law', restricting the amount councils can charge leaseholders for repairs which are partly publicly funded. It is named after the tragic victim of an astronomical bill for repairs from a council - repairs which had not been costed and which, it turned out, didn't need doing anyway.

• While housebuilding has been the focus of construction activity in this country, at least from a political point of view, internationally there has been a massive burgeoning of infrastructure and major projects in some regions, including well known centres of activity around growing economies. With increased globalisation comes increased complexity around disputes.

To help contractors and major project managers and stakeholders make some kind of sense of what the issues are and where, lawyers Clyde & Co have published a heavyweight guide to dispute resolution across the globe. The watchword, as always, is to make sure you get the right expert advice.

• Here at Your Expert Witness we have been engaged in a campaign to encourage people to leave a legacy to charity in their will - after they have provided for their family and others close to them. The essential precursor to that, of course, is that they should make a will in the first place. Still, half of us haven't made a will, despite being harangued from all sides to do so.

The latest to jump on the soap box is the Ministry of Justice. Its Choice not Chance campaign is aimed at the younger adult age group - those least likely to have thought about such awkward subjects. In addition to encouraging will-writing, the MoJ campaign encourages young people to have 'that difficult conversation' with their parents regarding lasting power of attorney and to consider joining the Organ Donor Register.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 June 2015 13:05